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Japan aims to reduce households’ greenhouse gas emissions by 66%

  • July 25, 2021
  • , The Japan News , 4:07 p.m.
  • English Press

The government has specified for the first time the amount by which greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced in different sectors to achieve the government’s goal of reducing overall emissions by 46% from the fiscal 2013 level by fiscal 2030, according to a draft obtained by The Yomiuri Shimbun.


According to the draft of a global warming prevention plan, emissions must be curtailed 66% by households, for example.


Scheduled to be released Monday by the Environment Ministry at a meeting of a government council, the plan sets the nation’s medium- and long-term numerical targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It will be the first time to revise the plan since 2016.


The draft presents a complete picture of the nation’s greenhouse gas reduction efforts, reflecting the contents of a draft of the basic energy plan released Wednesday and including reduction targets not presented in the energy plan.


According to the draft of the global warming prevention plan, the emission of carbon dioxide from energy sources should be reduced by 45% from the fiscal 2013 level by fiscal 2030.


Specifically, the household sector will be required to cut CO2 emissions by 66%, up from 39% under the current plan.


Business operations at offices and elsewhere will have to slash emissions by 50%, up from 40%, while the transport sector, including the operation of cars and trains, will need to cut emissions by 38%, up from 28%.


The industrial sector, including manufacturing, will need to cut emissions by 37%, up from 7%.


As for carbon dioxide from non-energy sources, the government aims to trim emissions by 15% by reducing waste incineration, among other means. It also aims to cut CO2 emissions by 48 million tons by expanding carbon sinks through the promotion of urban greening.


The draft provides a complete picture of the nation’s greenhouse gas reduction efforts and includes targets and measures for each sector, but it remains unclear whether they will be viable.


In April, the government raised its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by fiscal 2030 from 26% to 46%. Emissions will need to be cut to about 760 million tons, from the about 1.41 billion tons released in fiscal 2013.


More than 80% of greenhouse gas emissions come from energy sources such as power generation through fossil fuels and others. The government aims to reduce the emissions in part by increasing the percentage of power generation from renewable energy sources.


The 66% reduction target among households is the the largest among all the sectors. On top of changing households’ sources of energy, the government will focus on measures such as increasing the number of houses that can reduce energy consumption to virtually zero through rooftop solar power generation.


In the transportation sector, where a 38% reduction in emissions is sought, the government aims to improve the efficiency of truck transportation and promote car sharing.


As for greenhouse gas emissions coming from non-energy sources, the government aims to reduce the amount of waste incinerated, including that of plastic shopping bags and disposable spoons.


The draft also includes the use of a “bilateral credit system” under which Japan would assist in the energy-saving measures of developing countries and part of the emissions that were curbed would be calculated as reductions by Japan.


The government’s global warming prevention plans used to be drawn by setting achievable reduction targets based on actual results, but the figures included in the draft were made to endorse previously set government targets. Since the government will rely heavily on businesses and the public to achieve the goals, a source close to the government admitted that the hurdles to achieving the targets are particularly high.

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